McMaster University

McMaster University

Biohazard Utilization Protocols (BUP)

An approved Biohazard Utilization Protocol (BUP) is required if you are planning to work with or import infectious biological material or toxins in the laboratory. The approval process involves a review of the biological inventory items, procedures and physical facilities you plan to use. BUPs are to be completed for each laboratory, each course and each camp.

The requirement for a BUP was announced by Associate Vice-President, Research - Dr. Fiona McNeill in the memorandum distributed in 2012 found here.

Completing the Biohazard Utilization Protocol captures the necessary information for an informed review by the Presidential Biosafety Advisory Committee (PBAC). Principal Investigators must receive an approval from the PBAC before beginning work with biohazardous material.

PBAC meetings are held on the last Monday of every month. Submissions are sent out for review one week prior to the meeting, therefore please have your information submitted to the Karen Haines before the second-to-last Monday of each month.

If you are unsure if your work requires biohazard approval, please contact the Biosafety Manager (Dr. Jennifer Robertson) as soon as possible to avoid administrative delays.

How do I know if my research project requires Biohazard Approval? - please see the new Biosafety Program RMM found here. Please submit the Applicability Form to have your work assessed.

The Biohazard Utilization Protocol is a one time-submission which requires amendments as needed, an annual administrative review and a (NEW!) 4-year committee review. It is meant to:

    • maintain a digital biological inventory for each research laboratory at McMaster
    • simplify granting application processes
    • decrease administrative paperwork


Each principal investigator must have their own BUP number. Thus BUP numbers are PI-specific and cannot be transferred to other investigators.


BUP Online Portal

Please contact Karen Haines to open a new BUP account. After creation, you will be given login and password information so that you may submit the required information. You are expected to fill in every section of the BUP except the sections with asterisks which are optional.

It is important that you include agents that you plan to use in the near future but do not yet possess and agents that you store but do not currently use.

BUP Approval Process

The BUP information will be submitted to the Presidential Biosafety Advisory Committee upon which point a risk assessment will be done to verify the requested containment level for the agents and procedures.

Laboratory Audits

A requirement of approval is compliance in the laboratory with respect containment or biosafety level. This includes complete and up to date SOPs, up to date training for everyone including lab supervisors and a laboratory audit. The audit is carried out by the Research Compliance Auditor (Carol Carte).

More detailed information on laboratory audits can be found here.

BUP Amendment Procedure

The BUP is online for your convenience. Grants must now go through the "Project-Based Biohazard Approval" process described on the right.

BUP Portal is here.

For a login/password to your BUP, contact Karen Haines.

Project-Based Biohazard Approvals

Depending on the direction of the funds, there are three possible courses of action to acquire documentation. Please visit the Biohazard Approval page here.

Required Training

A requirement of approval is that all of the workers AND the PI must have core Biosafety training and are up to date with their annual Biosafety Updates.

Biosafety training is only offered through Mosaic.

Annual Administative Review

Before the annual administrative review date:

  • the PI will be sent an "BUP Annual Administrative Review Email"
  • the PI's workers will be asked to update their training, update their training records and submit the information to their Supervisor or delegate.
  • the PI will make all outstanding amendments through the BUP portal if necessary
  • the PI will print, sign and return the Annual Review Form

Once received, the Biosafety Office will send a followup email, closing the loop in the process.

The BUP is subject to section 8.1 of RMM#600 (Monitoring Non-Compliance)

Please note that only the year is changed on the renewal date. Delays in amendments or PI review will only lessen the time to the next annual review. (The renewal date will always be the same month/day as the original approval date)


Updated 24-Mar-16

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